It is for this reason, Hutton believes, that the rich have switched to customised services – the premier accounts offered by some banks promise that clients will have a single manager they can deal with. And bear in mind you are buying a service relationship, not being offered one.
The result, experts say, has been the creation of a two-tier customer service regime where those who are wealthy enough can buy privileged access marked by a personalised and attentive relationship with companies and service providers that recognises their requirements. The rest of us are forced to take pot luck with often demoralised employees who know little about their product.
Customer service costs money to provide. In fact, given Baumol\’s Cost Disease, customer service becomes ever more expensive to provide as wages rise faster than the general inflation rate (over decades mind, there can be yearly wobbles in this).
So, you can have cheap and cheerful at the call centre or you can cough up for that more personalised service.
Actually having a choice is such a bastard, isn\’t it?